Alarming Events

Completely uninterested in the work at hand, it took a lot to summon up any motivation to even skim through my growing list of assignments soon to be due. After procrastinating for as long as my workaholic disposition would allow, I finally settled in before the glow of the computer screen and began plunking down words. Getting into a groove, it seemed as though my trepidation was for nothing, as the sentences began to flow freely in no time and I was working up a steam, moving towards completion at the speed of lightning. All was looking good… When suddenly a shrill buzzing noise pierced through my concentration, shattering any thought process that might have been useful to writing a comprehensive article. Shaken right down to my toes, I hurried over and opened the door, only to discover that the rude buzzing became louder than the sound of a jet engine cranking at full speed. Seeing other residents rushing out of their rooms and toward the stairwell, it finally clicked that perhaps this was indeed the fire alarm going off, and maybe, just maybe, I should exit the building before I actually saw flames.

Of course, having gone through the mandatory fire drills every month throughout elementary, middle, and high school, I felt no need for real alarm… Until I passed by the second floor on my way out. Thick, grey smoke filled the air and the smell of burning timber permeated through every pore. Moving a little bit faster now, I reached the green courtyard outside to discover that the firemen had already arrived.

Standing tall with his hose at the ready, this strong, brave fireman rushed ahead of the crowd and into the building. Watching his yellow uniform disappear into the smog within, it was then that it hit me; This could be for real. What would happen to my computer, forget about the document still open on the screen? What about my camera? What about my yarn?? Thoroughly immersed within my own panic, only snippets of conversation from the girls around me filtered through: “…happened three times in three days last year…”, “…burnt onions…”, “…oversensitive smoke detectors…”

Regaining some degree of composure, I assured myself that this sort of thing must happen all the time in college dorms, especially when there are 3 kitchens on every floor. Forcing those panicked thoughts down into the pit of my stomach, I waited impatiently for the fearless fire fighter to emerge once more and tell us about the damage.

Exiting the doors with a mischievous smirk on his face, I couldn’t help but be puzzled by what he might find so amusing in all of this. Many girls rushed up and asked him to give it us straight: What was destroyed? Which floor got it worst? But above all, what caused this potential tragedy?

…Turns out that someone just reheated some leftover pizza for a little too long and took it into the “extra crispy” stage, finishing with a nice black exterior and plenty of smoke.